By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s PT (Workers Party) has until the end of the day on Tuesday (September 11th) to present a substitute for presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, after the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) rejected the political party’s latest appeal. Lawyers for the ex-president argue that he may continue to lead the ticket as long as he is appealing his conviction.
“In legal terms and according to consolidated jurisprudence, before the Lula case it was possible to continue campaigning while the registration was being reviewed,” stated the defense. “This simply ended in the Lula trial,” added the lawyers.
On September 1st by six votes to one, the TSE rejected Lula’s candidacy based on the Lei da Ficha Limpa (Clean Slate Law), and gave the coalition of political parties supporting the former leader ten days to replace the ex-president on the ticket.
Over the weekend the TSE’s president Justice Rosa Weber rejected the extension request made by Lula’s political party, stating that there was no ‘justification’ for the delay.
The former leader has been in jail since April, when he was convicted of passive corruption and money laundering and sentenced to twelve years and one month in prison.
Lawyers from the PT party have argued that the deadline should be on September 17th (deadline for replacement of all candidates from all parties), and that there was not enough time for the coalition to meet and discuss the replacement.
The PT party says that it will continue to insist on Lula’s candidacy until all legal channels are exhausted, but has already signaled that the former Brazilian president may be replaced by former Education Minister Fernando Haddad.
Haddad has taken to the campaign trail, along with Manoela D’Avila, who abandoned her presidential aspirations to possibly become Haddad’s running mate in the PT-led coalition ticket.
Haddad is currently trailing in fifth position in the voter intention polls, with only nine percent of voters stating they would vote for the former São Paulo City mayor. Before Lula was pronounced ineligible to run due to his conviction, the former president had over thirty percent of voter intention.